Trumbull – Dear Ced (2) – Moom Pitchers and Exotic Orchids – January, 1942

This is the rest of a letter I first posted yesterday from Grandpa to Ced, the only son away from home now, but that is about to change.

Blog - 2015.05.13 - Trumbull (2) - Moom Pitchers and Exotic Orchids - Jan., 1942

 

Page 2     1/11/1942

Time out for a message from Dan who has just come in and wants to say something to you about taking 1/2pictures. Here’s Dan.

Cedirk, dear,

I don’t rightly know why fayther wrote 1/2pictures unless he feels that our results are only 1/2lf satisfactory, which is what I aim to tell you. The moom pitchers we took show an unfortunate tendency toward over-exposure on one edge and not on the other! Lad says changing over at twenty-five feet, taking out the film…… says it probably becomes loose on the real, allowing the light to penetrate. Solution: change film only in very subdued light and do not allow the film to loosen on the real.

Uncle Sam feels that he needs me to save the world for Roosevelt, especially since the dirty stinking yellow bastards have the idiotic nerve to grab the U.S. property called the Philippines after we went to so much trouble to save them from the nasty old Spaniards a few decades ago. Imagine their wanting to get some islands that don’t even belong to them! And they even talk of invading the U.S., just because we refused to sell them a few little staples like iron and machinery and raw materials and because we stopped buying a little silk from them!

Of course we could easily win the war if we just sent 10 more bombers to the Dutch….You can’t expect little countries like U.S. and England to beat Japan without some help. That is why the Dutch have to sink two extra Jap ships for every one they sink for themselves….one for us, one for England. If things get worse, maybe Joe Stalin can withdraw his troops from Berlin long enough to help the Dutch win our war.

Gawd! When I think of those filthy Japs having the nerve to Bomb our Navy! They are nothing but savages. And they even sink our freighters. But we will get even. We are going to start building guns and things and in about 10 years we are going to say to the Dutch and Ciang Kai Shek, “O.K., boys, we’ll take a round out of those little yellow Aryans!” And then they’ll be sorry. Of course, there won’t be anything left in U. S. by that time except taxes, but we will get those cowardly Mongolians! We’ll just take their little trousers down and paddle their pink rising suns.

New topic: When I left Anchorage I made several promises to keep the boys posted about how I made out with the Army. I have failed to do so, but there is still time. Meanwhile, if you see Fred Crowl or Don Tyree, or Hal Reherd, or any of the Air Base boys, tell them I tried valiantly, but the Anchorage draft board tried harder, so into the Army I go, perhaps to fertilize some exotic orchid in the jungles of Sumatra, or fill out the lean feathers of some scrawny African buzzard….saving America, of course, from the Japs, the Huns, and the Wops, every one of whom have only one aim in life….to make every U.S. citizen into a slave.

Dan

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter

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The speed limit on the Merritt Parkway has been reduced to 40 miles with the threefold purpose of saving tires, gas and lives.

What Dan means by moom pictures I leave it to you to guess but it does give me a chance to remark “don’t laugh at others mistakes, the banana peel may be under your own foot”.

Don Whitney has received his summons to appear before the draft board for physical examination so how long he will be figuring the profits and losses for the Stratfield is anyone’s guess. The Laufer’s have not heard from Erwin since he reached the Pacific coast. Dick Christie I understand has been down with pneumonia but is getting along nicely. It is reported that Jack Philmon tried to join the Marines but was turned down.

Meigs new store at the corner of Main and Wall – – where the A & P Market used to be – – is now just about completed and they will probably move about the 1st of February. Their old building I understand will be torn down for a new Woolworth store. There has also been a new building erected opposite Read’s where the parking lot used to be and I understand Singer’s will erect a new building near the corner of Fairfield and Broad between the old telephone building and where the church used to stand. The old building back of my office has been torn down and the space thus provided has been turned into a parking lot for customers and employees of the Bridgeport Peoples Savings Bank. So, when that glad day comes when you will be back in this neck of the woods again you will see quite a few changes in the old burgh.

As you may discern there is evidence of my news fund tapering out and inquiries of Dick and Dan not resulting in any fresh spurt to my imagination, if such it can be called, leaves me the sad alternative of bringing this momentous epistle to a close, with the usual hope that the coming week will again bring a letter with more news from my Alaskan pilot.

Give that jovial old pal of mine, Rusty, greetings from his old sidekick, and tell him to write me as soon as he gets any interesting news.

DAD

 

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1945, when all of Grandpa’s boys are “In The Army Now”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – Dick’s Homecoming and Dan’s Engagement – December, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 28, 1941

Dear Ced:

This is one letter that I shall not have to scratch my head to think of what to say. It is intended to be a sort of report on our Christmas doings, as well as news of the week’s doings, and because the relatives will probably be interested in some of the timely topics herein after recorded, I am sending them a carbon copy.

Dick’s Homecoming

          Your airmail letter of the 14th was received on the day before Christmas and in view of your statement that the sailing of Dick’s boat of the Alaskan steamship line had been canceled indefinitely because of the war and that it would wait for a convoy to Seattle, we had given up hope of Dick’s arrival in time for Christmas. I proceeded to the office with that thought fixed in my mind which is perhaps the reason why, when I arrived and found a note on my desk to call a New York operator, I did not connect it with Dick but thought perhaps it might be Elsie telling me that, because of the rush of work, she could not come up until Christmas morning. Even when the operator asked me if I would accept a collect call from Mr. Guion I failed to get it and told her I presumed it would be from Miss Guion, but to put through the call anyway. The first words I heard were: “Hello Dad, this is Dick”. He said the boat had anchored for two or three days in the harbor, had finally sailed and a short time later put back into port again. They finally sailed in earnest, made the trip with as little light as they could show at night and finally docked at Seattle without mishap. Lad, in his car, accompanied by Dan and Barbara and Jean Mortenson, went down to Aunt Elsie’s hotel where he was spending the day. Aunt Betty and I, thinking he would be home before midnight, waited up for him, but by 2 o’clock Aunt Betty gave it up and went to bed, and three quarters of an hour later they arrived. Dick looked a little taller, no stouter and of course adorned with a little mustache.

Marriages

          Last night in my capacity as Justice of the Peace, your Dad spliced two couples in the little old alcove with the fire flickering in lieu of Mendelson’s wedding march. The men were both from Scranton, Pa. and the girls both from Conn.

Early Christmas evening the news was released that earlier in the day Jean Hughes and Chester Hayden had been married by Mr. Powell at the Hughes’ home and were on their way to New York for a brief honeymoon. He had been working at the Aluminum Company of America plant and had to be back to work Monday.

The big item of news under this general heading, however, was the display by Barbara of a solitaire diamond ring that Dan had given her that day in acknowledgment of their engagement. It is Dan’s present intention not to get married until this international mess is cleaned up and the future seems a bit more assured than it is at present. In this connection Dan has still had no further news from the draft board other than what they told him some weeks ago when he phoned them and was informed that he would be ordered into service sometime in January. It has been their custom to give selectees ten days notice but I don’t know whether the declaration of war has changed that custom or not. Dan said if he knew definitely he would quit his job a couple of weeks before hand. As it is now, starting today, he has to work Sundays also.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this Christmas letter to Ced and other family members. Something special on Thursday and Holiday cards on Friday. 

Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures 

Next week, I’ll continue with letters written in 1943, when four boys are in the service of Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (3) – More News From France – September, 1945

 

Rather than be separated from her for the better part of the year, I am taking steps to ensure that I remain over here as long as possible. I have applied for one of the university courses which will consume two months from its beginning date. Further, I understand that men eligible for discharge are allowed to volunteer for additional service Up to Feb. 14, 1946, if they so desire. In the meantime I shall investigate the facilities of private transport in the hope that she will be able to get to America soon. She is still staying with Mr. and Mme. Rabet at 9 Rue Cuvier — a five minute walk from our billet. I have never met a couple more generous or kindly than these two elderly people. I have asked them to select a few items from the Montgomery-Ward (he means Sears-Roebuck) catalog. Mme Rabet, a nurse by profession, has just cured me of a badly infected throat, which I dared not entrust to the Army doctors for fear that I would be restricted to quarters, and as a result, would not be able to see “Chiche”. In every respect both have treated us as if we were their own children.

(Comment. Of course you should stay with “Chiche”, but what I want is for you to stay with her here. Leave no stone unturned to bring her home at the earliest possible moment, unless under the circumstances, she would prefer not to come until afterward. We shall get as much as possible of the list you sent. Are you sure of Mme’s bust measurement? Marion things it is extremely large.)

I needn’t tell you how much I am disappointed at having to postpone my homecoming, but time has a rather chronic habit of shuffling along, eilly-nilly, (I believe he meant to type “willy-nilly) and one day, not too far distant, I shall stumble over the milk bucket on the back porch as I groped my way toward the kitchen door. “Chiche” sends her love in hopes that you will all continue to write to her. She asks me every day if I have received a letter from home.

(Comment. Tell your little girl, Dan, how delighted I am at the news of the expected arrival, which would be doubly good if you could now writes that all arrangements had been made for all three of you to stumble over said milk bucket. In the famous words; “Don’t give up the ship”, means either the airship or an ocean liner, whichever can get you over here in the best, quickest and safest way. In other words I am not taking your decision is final. The only thing that will make me bow to what will be considered in this instance as in evitable, is Paulette’s wishes in the matter, but outside of that, that neither of us quit struggling. I WANT YOU HOME BY CHRISTMAS. I want this year to put on a combination French-American Christmas celebration and she has got to be here to help with it)

I trust from the few hints I have given above that you may surmise I will stop at nothing that is legally and humanly possible to reverse your again quote stay in France” decision for the new Guion family, and I shall expect you to call upon me, in case I have not already made that fact clear, to do anything I can to make such a denoument possible.

For your information, I am attaching two additional copies of the American addition of the Guion wedding announcement. It never entered my head to send one to the Senechal’s although I should have done so, I can now see very plainly. I asked you for a list of people, friends of yours rather than of the family, to whom you might wish a copy sent but this along with other questions I have asked from time to time has been blithely overlooked. I have a few more copies left. To whom do you wish them sent? Respond se vou plais. – Or words to that effect. And I still don’t know whether the Senechals like their coffee ground, course or fine or underground in been form— third request. You will just have to get daughter Paulette to write me in American to give me these Monday and details which a person who has attended Oxford and is a candidate for the Sorbonne, scorns to mention. Next you will be writing me you are taking a course at Leipzig instead of attending courses at the University of Trumbull. Es weiss nicht was sol les bedauten das Ich so trauig bin. There, that will hold you for a space.

Well, children, that’s the story for this week. The whole Guion family affairs laid out flat like the contents of Colgate’s toothpaste tube— comes out like a ribbon, lays flat on the floor. I wish I could get some order out of this post-war chaos. When will Dick and Jean be home, or won’t they? What’s going to happen to Lad’s furlough? How soon can MacArthur spare Dave? When is Ced flying home? Will I have a French or American grandson? Any information leading to the arrest of any of the above rumors, dead or alive, if stretched end to end, by the authority vested in but the state of Connecticut, you man and wife. I don’t know— I’m all mixed up. When somebody please straighten me out?

Your distracted

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, a Birthday letter to Dave from his ever-loving father.

On Saturday and Sunday, a new series of letters written in 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (2) – News From France – September, 1945

 

Oh Kay, Jeannie, old kid, we’ll do that little thing. And while I think of it, Dick, your insurance premium notice arrived the other day. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall take care of it by my check in the regular way before it comes due. You’ll be interested, Jean, to know I received a nice letter from Marge (Mrs. Ted Southworth) the other day announcing their safe arrival at “Crosswinds, RFD West Sand Lake, N.Y.”. She says: “We want you to know we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Trumbull under the Guion roof and thank you for putting up with us. Ted has already started classes at R.I.P. in Troy and finds it a little strange to be a student again. We will be living with Ted’s folks for a while as there is not much hope of finding anything in Troy at present. We have sort of a private apartment with “kitchen privileges”. I haven’t found any gainful employment yet but am working on it. I hope it won’t be too long before all the members of the Guion family will be together again. We certainly enjoyed reading their letters and meeting Lad. “Spintail” was overjoyed to see us again and is leading a very happy life here on the farm, free from strange dogs to fight with. He gets his exercise by chasing rabbits and woodchucks.”

Alaska was silent this week but I haven’t forgotten that threat: “Some time I may drop in unexpectedly at your office”, after landing, I suppose, in a Piper or something that he has just acquired, and hitchhiking in from the Stratford airport. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream!

 

And now let’s turn the spotlight on the French theater of action. A Sept. 13th letter arrived on the 20th (regular mail, it says here) and one dated the 5th arrived on the 22nd. The composite result is somewhat as follows: The whole Senechal family is spending a few days in Drancy. They asked me to send their best regards to you all – – especially to Lad who, they know, is home at last. I no longer expect to be home this year.

(Comment. This is a bitter disappointment to me Dan, as you must realize, and I am not giving up without a struggle. I want to see my son – – I want very much to know my new daughter and I had very much hoped my little grandchild would open his little eyes first in good old Connecticut. Having stated that with all the sincerity and fervor of which I am capable, I must add that no matter how strong my wishes, or yours, Dan, might be, it is, after all, Paulette’s wishes that must, under the circumstances, come first. I can understand she might want to have her baby born among familiar surroundings rather than in a foreign country, yet I wonder if judging from the economic conditions in both countries, she wouldn’t be better off from every other standpoint if she were here. As for getting home, I understand the airlines have already started transatlantic service, and I imagine the fare is not out of reason. I am also going to make inquiries as to the resumption of steamship service. I understand some of the liners have already been returned by theGgovernment to the steamship companies and regular service will soon be resumed.)

But to go on with the quotation. “The explanation is somewhat involved. “Chiche”, being pregnant, cannot travel by government transport until three months after the birth of the child, unless she leaves before her pregnancy has advanced more than four months. But with shipping as crowded as it is these days, even assuming that her visa could be hastened by political pressure from you back home, the chances are remote that the Army could find room for her before next year. She is expecting the child in April or May. Thus she will not be eligible for travel by government transport until July or August, 1946!

(Comment. I should hate to rely on any governmental pressure I could exert these days with all the red tape that would be necessary, although I would not hesitate to try, but I should think the best thing would be to forget the Army transport method and make it as a civilian, and that, as soon as you can be discharged, and she can find accommodations. And don’t let the expense deter you, because this is important enough to transcend any consideration of this sort just as long, at least, as you have a Dad to fall back on.)

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with more information from France. Thursday and Friday I’ll post a Birthday letter to Dave from his Dad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (2) – News From Dave in Manila – September, 1945

Now Dan, as for that camera part. Lad seems to know exactly what you want and he spent the better part of an afternoon this past week going all over Bridgeport’s camera stores to try to locate the missing ring. I do not recall your sending it with the other parts, and Lad has looked for it in the trunk where I put your parts that you sent home, but he is having Zeke hand make something that Lad things will do the trick and we shall try to get it off this week with some of the things for Paulette which Marion went shopping for in Bridgeport last week, before we received your later lists. I am very much afraid the coat will exceed the weight limit. As for the Schick razor, Lad says he has one he will give you. In looking for the adapter ring in your trunk, he came across a Rolls razor and was sorry he had not asked you to buy him one when you were in London. I told him I didn’t think you would mind if, as long as you were sending you his Schick, he took your Rolls. If you have to fight it out I’ll be the referee. As for the wristwatch, that’s too indefinite for so important an item. Refer again to the Sears catalog, and based on the three models illustrated on page 473, give me some idea of style, size, shape and approximate cost so we will have some idea to shoot at. As a hasty and much belated answer to your question asked long ago, you say tea, coffee, cocoa and soap are always welcome. I assume you referred to the Senechal’s, as I did. You may recall I asked if they wanted coffee in beam (if they have their own grinder) or if desired ground, how fine and for what type of coffee maker? Do they like Black, Green or Oolong tea? As to soap, laundry or toilet? I quite agree with you in regard to Paulette’s wardrobe. Tell her— no, send her in here and I’ll talk to her myself. See here, girl, don’t ever get the idea it is imposing on us to have Dan give us a list of the things you want. It is a real pleasure to do little things for others, particularly when one has the satisfaction of knowing they are really things the other fellow wants and needs. It shows a fine feeling on your part not wanting to put other people to trouble on your account, but Marian, upon whom falls most of the brunt of choosing with her women’s taste, the clothes for you, enjoys shopping, and particularly for you, and the funds are Dan’s, which he has thriftily, in months past, sent on to me to keep for him. So, everything considered, it would be quite a disappointment if we couldn’t do these little things to show just how much we think of “our little French girl”. And if that new hubby of yours doesn’t write me an answer about the things your family would like to have, and which I would like to send from there American friend, just to show our happiness in having acquired a new daughter, just write me another letter yourself. Why not try something in English, just to get in practice, like Papa Senechal did and which I

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thought was a very considerate and courteous thing for him to do. You ought not mind writing in English even if you make some mistakes. We would have no right to laugh at such mistakes knowing very well we could not do nearly so well if we tried to write you in French. (Then, too, we could write each other little secret notes which wouldn’t have to pass through the hands of the interpreter). And let me thank you right here and now for that very lovely letter. I wish you were here right now so I could tell you how much I appreciate it. You can’t get here soon enough to please me. Leave Dan behind if you have to and I’ll meet you at the dock with a French dictionary in one hand and a French flag draped around my waist so you won’t mistake me for the Statute of Liberty. I’d even go so far as to have our dog Smoky trimmed to look like a French poodle if that would help. I couldn’t promise to have any real Camembert cheese, of which I am very fond, on the table for your first meal, as we are able only to get the imitation over here, but I might get hold of a loaf of French bread and cook up some French fried potatoes. What other inducements can I hold out to hasten your departure?

Dave, the old smoothie, has written me such a flattering birthday letter, that I feel like the old Irish woman at the wake of her husband, while the priest was extolling the virtues of the departed, said to her son, “Jimmy, look in the coffin and see if it’s your father who really is in there.” In fact, I am just too modest to quote it, so I’ll have to fall back on the old advertising gag and say “details furnished on request”. It’s nice to have you feel that way anyway Dave, and I suppose I can justly take some pride in being the father of a son like you.

I’ll have to condense Dave’s other letter a bit so as not to run over on a 5th, page. He says: Everyone seems to be here in Manila except MacArthur and a few of his boys, who left a couple of days ago for Tokyo. Some of the boys here saw MacArthur the day after he landed, standing on a balcony without his hat. They claim he’s bald. Perhaps that’s why we always see pictures of him with his hat on. Why I should mention this I don’t know— there’s certainly no crime in being bald. Ever since I got your letter quoting Dick’s, I have been trying to figure out what made Dick write to you. I think now I’ve got the answer. Jean was about to join him and he figured she would ball the daylights out of him for not writing you for so long, so to avoid any trouble, he wrote you a short note to clear himself. Some one of these days I’m going to write you a letter, Dick, to tell you what I really think of your correspondence in the past. You ask, “Will Dave stay in Okinawa?” You have the answer to that one now. Yes, I’ll be part of the Jap occupation in a roundabout sort of way. We don’t know but it looks as if we would sweat out the rest of my Army career in Manila. I’ll be home for Christmas, but it will be ’46, just as I predicted some time ago. I’m disappointed in Jean. I had a magazine I could have read during my plane ride to, but there was too much to see below, especially over land. Both Dan’s and Lad’s letters on the marriage were very interesting. It was nice to have had Lad there for the ceremony. It looks now as if your French daughter-in-law will soon be in America with her husband. The way I see it, with Dan’s 75  points, he should be home before Christmas.    Dave.

And now a couple of sneezes a piece for each of you, and a bleary but loving glance from your sniffling     DAD

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting another 4-page letter from Grandpa, with quotes from letters received from Dave, Dan and Jean.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (1) – News From France – September, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 9, 1945.

Dear Chillens:

Following its prescribed course, my faithful hay fever reaches its climax right about now and, while I don’t think it has been quite so violent as in some years past, it still causes that feeling of low energy, peevishness and impatience, so that the effort to write this letter even, assumes unpleasant proportions.

Elizabeth, Zeke and the children came over to dinner today as sort of a pre-birthday celebration, and beside the birthday cake, made with Marion’s fair hands, I was also presented with a much needed white shirt and an equally desired union suits, with also the usual steel engravings of George Washington (Aunt Betty always gives a dollar bill in her birthday cards) accompanied by appropriate card from Aunt Betty. During the week I received a box of Brazilian cigars from guess who, and this, with the box of cigars Lad brought me, will keep me in smokes for a while.

Five or six separate communications from the Dan B. Guion’s during the week sort of makes up for lost time and Dave also makes our Quotes Dept. take on new life.

First a letter dated Aug. 2nd, from Ghent, Belgium, reads: At last a short note from your French relatives. I suppose Lad has already informed you of the Big Day. I did not write sooner because there is no APO in Calais and I saw no official Americans were over three weeks. But the honeymoon is over and I am on my way back to Paris via Ghent. (There is more superseded by later letters)

Aug. 13th. I arrived here in Drancy on Aug. 3rd. Chiche tentatively had decided to come on Aug. 4th, but when I visited her relatives here in Drancy, I found she had wired she would come on the 6th. But alas, they had no room for her because several other members of the family had come there for the marriage of Paulette’s cousin. Friends in Drancy, however, with prodigal generosity, offered me all the facilities of their house for as long as we wished. So we wired Paulette to come. Paulette arrived in Paris about 3:30 and wired for me to meet her. The message went astray through a misunderstanding here at the barracks, and after waiting four hours in Paris, decided to come to Drancy. We finally got together shortly after 8 P.M. Chiche was rather upset to learn she could not stay with her relatives, and to make matters worse, the acting Co. Commander (the same officer who had sent me back to Drancy from Calais last April against my wishes) told me that I could not stay overnight with my wife more than one night per week. “Regulations,” he said. I thought he might offer to try to make a dispensation but he said no more. I thanked him and left his office. Later that day I happened to meet Maj. Minor, who is a high official in the Battalion. I presented my problem to him and immediately he offered to help me, saying he was quite certain it could be arranged. So back I went to the acting C.O. to apologize for having”gone over his head”. Far from forgiving me, he was furious. His face became flushed, his fingers beat a tattoo on the table. “I don’t like I,t” he growled, “but if the Major says it’s all right, there’s nothing more I can do about it.” So now, no menacing clouds remain to obscure promising horizons. I stay each night with Chiche. A new commanding officer has taken charge. The war is collapsing. “All’s right with the world.”

And again a letter written on the 18th, says: “The war is still in the process of ending with both MacArthur and Hirohito trying to “upstage” each other. Latest rumor promises that the critical score will be lowered to 75. But Missouri is my native state until I clutch those H.D. papers in my incredulous fist.

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A card dated August 16th, contains a request for some clothes for Chiche. Dan says: “She has been getting by on very little during the last three or four years, and I have finally convinced her that she must let me know what she needs. Please use my money and your judgment. Chiche crops up from time to time with the impression that I am asking for too much in the way of clothing, etc., for her. I promised to elaborate my position by telling you again that I am merely economizing. By buying clothes in the USA, I am saving from 5 to 10 times the money I would spend in France – – and the quality is superior in much the same ration. Shoes, for example. Even rationed shoes are made of rationed materials and quickly come apart. Unrationed shoes are made of wood, canvas and cardboard. I realize that shoes are still rationed at home but at least the unrationed styles are more comfortable than their French counterparts. The red slippers you sent are undergoing such constant use that all her other shoes are jealous (judging from the discomfort they cause her when she wears them). I might be dropping over to America one of these months soon, resplendent in decorations. It looks as if I shall be getting out of the Army soon— perhaps I shall be home for Christmas. It might take longer for Chiche to get her visa.

And with Dan’s letters there are some interesting enclosures, one a copy of the French marriage license and a copy of the address (in French) made at the time of their civil marriage in the City Hall. My charming new daughter also writes me such a nice letter (in French, translation by Dan) that I am quoting it so that you can see what a prize Dan won from across the Big Pond.

My dear Dad: I am very happy to be able to at last call you Dad. I was delighted to receive your very nice letter. It is necessary that I tell you first of all how happy I am to be Dan’s wife. He is so kind and so good, he is loved by everyone. We had a lovely wedding made doubly so by having Lad with us. In this way Dan was not married without any of his family present. All went well. The weather was superb and we took many photos. I thought of you a great deal on that day. I already love you and the rest, and I am certain that when I arrived to be with you I will find the love there of the parents I have here. Dan was able to remain three weeks at Calais, during which time we were very happy. Unfortunately, it could not last and he had to return to Drancy. As I am not working, I rejoined him however, later at Drancy. Although he has many privileges, still he is in the Army and cannot always do what he wishes. Even so, I am happy to be near him. When one is in love everything is lovely, is it not so? Well, dear Dad, the war is over and I am very happy for you. You are going again to have all your children with you, plus a little French girl, and who knows, perhaps also a grandson or a granddaughter, because you see, Dad, we do not wish to wait to have children, because Dan and I love them so much. I do not know yet how soon I can leave for America, but at any rate, if Dan leaves before me, I believe I can make the trip later with my cousin, who is also married to an American. That will be a very difficult day for my parents but the transport goes so fast that perhaps I will be able to return to France. I know I shall be very happy at the Château Guion, which must be pretty and gay. I know it will be a total change for me but I believe I will easily accustom myself to it. Dan is one who likes sports and I love very much all the sports he plays. Anyhow, I will try to do everything for the best and be a worthy representative of France. Dan is very kind to me and I am very, very happy

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with him. I would go to the end of the earth for him and I ask only one thing and that is to make him as happy as I am. I hope this short letter will give you pleasure and I ask you to kiss Aunt Betty for me, as well as Marian, whom I am going to love also. As for you, dear Dad, a very fond fatherly kiss. Your new daughter, Paulette”

Now, isn’t that just as delightful a letter as anyone would want to receive, and you wonder that all of us, and especially “the old man”, can hardly wait for the days to pass to have what Dan terms “our French relatives” with us. I am afraid to depend too much upon it. Wouldn’t it be grand if that 4 months’ waiting period could bring them here in time for the Christmas holidays?

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be another 4-page letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Army Life – The Gospel According To St. Dan – August, 1945

The Gospel, according to St. Dan, Drancy, Aug. 5, 1945

To follow the somewhat erratic history of Dan, it is perhaps more feasible to follow through chronologically, beginning on or about the 9th of July, at which time he was planning to leave Drancy for Calais on the 12th.

July 10 – At breakfast, Lt. Shirk casually asked if I were ready to “parti” to Calais. “When?” “Today!” “But I thought it was to be the 12th.”  “We’ll leave today. Are your clothes packed?” Thus began a week of hectic preparations and worries. I had to send a telegram that A.M. to Calais, notifying them of the change of plans; then I had to get my laundry from the laundry; then I had to get my official papers from the C.O.’s office; that I had to get my cigarette and candy rations from the PX, then I had to pack; then I had to eat early lunch —-. We arrived at Calais about five PM — half an hour after the telegram. The Lieutenant and his chauffeur left for Ghent almost immediately, leaving orders that I was to wait there until a truck came to take me back to Paris. By a curious coincidence, Robert and Maurice (Chiche’s brothers) arrived that same evening from Algeria, relegating yours truly to a position of an all-but-forgotten kibitzer, while emotion rained after four years of frustration.

July 11 to 16. Feverish preparations, trying to get the necessary papers in order and church arrangements settled. I had to hitchhike to Lille and back to have a seal affixed to certificates. The same day Chiche went to Boulogne for other papers, only to learn that she needed my papers too. The church arrangements broke down very soon because the Catholic Church frowned on a “mixed” marriage. The day before the marriage we were still in doubt. Chiche and I went to Bologne that morning and got the final papers. In the meantime it developed that no marriage can take place in France until ten days after all the papers are in order and the banns have been published! No banns were in evidence at the City Hall. But the fault was not ours so everything smooth out at the last minute – – even the church arrangements, because we decided to be married at the Protestant Temple after the civil ceremony at the City Hall. Late that night a dusty traveler Lad) arrived from Marseille – unexpectedly — he having already written that it was impossible to come. It was a thoroughly pleasant surprise, after two and half years of separation.

July 17. Ah, fateful day! 2 knots were tied – – both by men who took a personal interest in our marriage. All of Calais seems to have turned out for the occasion, for it was the first Franco-American wedding in that area. The first ceremony took place in the marriage hall at mairie. Mr. Hubert Desfachelles performed the ceremony as mayor, altho’ he was deputized for the affair as his own request. I think he was as nervous as we. It was “the first time” for all three of us! We drove to the Temple immediately afterward, where the Rev. Dubois officiated at a double ring ceremony. He said later that he had never seen the church so crowded for a marriage ceremony. There were many more who waited outside the door for a glimpse of “les espoux” as we came out. No rice was thrown, partly because there was no rice to be had, and partly because it is not the custom here to waste good food in such prodigal fashion. After the church ceremony the public was invited to the “vin donneur” which is the French equivalent of a reception, during which time wine and cookies are served to all who can get in. Fortunately, the Senechal home is across the street from the Temple (hence the name “rue du Temple” for the street on which they live)

Page 2 of the Gospel

so we were quickly embarked on this ceremony. Later, when the public had left we were served a sumptuous feast which represented hours of preparation and diligent searching in the black market for such luxuries as chicken and wine and a multitude of other dainties that no longer exist on the open market. That night there was dancing. “Chiche” and I heard that there was horseplay afoot, and we escaped upstairs shortly after midnight to our room. We locked both doors and kept vigil during an hour or so, during which time “they” tried to find a way to enter.

July 18 two August 1. An idyllic existence, during which time there was no worry or care save the possibility that the truck might come to take me back to Paris. For two full weeks I lived like a civilian on vacation, altho officially, I was in Calais on “Temporary Duty”. Furloughs are not authorized by the American Army to visit Calais, as it is part of the British sector – – but in order to permit the marriage, the 1st Sgt. arranged to send me on T.D. I suspect I am the only American on record whose solel “duty” during three weeks was to get married and enjoy a honeymoon! The truck came one afternoon about 3 P.M. while I was playing ping-pong with “Bob”, my new brother-in-law. Departure was mercifully swift. We had to leave immediately for Ghent where we spent two days.

Now, back in Drancy, I await the day (perhaps tomorrow) when Chiche will come to spend several days with me. The Army has not announced anything new about future plans. We are waiting to be “alerted” from day to day, but no new indications are manifest that such a move is near.

Lad arrived back in Marseille just in time to miss the boat! He is with the rear detachment and has left already for the Pacific, I presume. He doesn’t know just what route he will take, but usually the troops pass through CZ (Panama) and stop off a while in Hawaii. Love. DAN

Tomorrow I’ll post Lad’s account of the festivities.  Thursday and Friday, a letter from Grandpa posting updates on family members for family members, a quite comprehensive missive.

Judy Guion